Sixteen years after a group of country music's "Skynyrd Frynds" paid tribute to Southern rock heroes Lynyrd Skynyrd, another batch of artists is doing the same.
Randy Houser, Jamey Johnson, Eric Church and Uncle Kracker are among those who have recorded tracks for "Sweet Home Alabama -- The Country Music Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd," which comes out July 20 exclusively at Wal-Mart. Produced primarily by Jay Joyce (Church, Miranda Lambert, Leann Rimes, Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights), the eight-track collection mixes an assortment of Skynyrd classics -- "Simple Man" by Houser, "Gimme Three Steps" by the Eli Young Band, "Call Me the Breeze" by Shooter Jennings, "Tuesday's Gone" by Randy Montana and "Sweet Home Alabama" by Joyce protege Ashley Ray -- with more obscure cuts such as "The Ballad of Curtis Loew" (Church), "Four Walls of Raiford" (Johnson) and "All I Can Do Is Write About It" by Uncle Kracker.
"It's all these young country bucks doing Skynyrd songs, which is pretty cool to us," Skynyrd frontman Johnny Van Zant tells Billboard.com. "It gives me great pleasure, because they're doing older stuff...my brother (Ronnie Van Zant) wrote while he was still alive. People still love that stuff. They did what he did. He was a poet for the common people, and it's always great when other people are interested enough to re-do the songs."